BLUFFTON — Bluffton had a tough game on Friday night in a win over Spencerville but that didn’t deter the Pirates from making it tough on Pandora-Gilboa in a 55-45 victory over the Rockets on Saturday night.
Kyler Kinn scored 21 points and had 9 rebounds and Trenton Donley had 15 points to lead Bluffton (14-1). Aiden Harris’ 11 points led Pandora-Gilboa (12-5).
Bluffton turned a three-point halftime lead into a seven-point advantage after three quarters and was up by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter.
“I thought our guys initially looked kind of dead legged. We had a tough, physical game last night, a really emotional game for our guys. We looked like we were maybe a step slow. We talked about trying to fight fatigue and not letting fatigue be a factor for us,” Bluffton coach Todd Boblitt said.
“We said we had to fight through that mental and physical fatigue. I was proud of our guys that they kept with it. It was kind of a muddy game. It wasn’t pretty at either end of the floor. It’s good to win when you don’t have your best offensive night.
“They (Pandora-Gilboa) are a skilled group on the perimeter. They lead their league (the Blanchard Valley Conference) in three pointers. We wanted to run them off the (three-point) line and make them take contested shots. I thought we were able to do that for the most part.
“It’s been a tough weekend for us. It was two really good teams we played,” he said.
Pandora-Gilboa coach Mike Lee said the game shifted toward Bluffton in the third quarter.
“They’re just so long and athletic. They spread you out offensively. They have guys who can flat out shoot the basketball. You just can’t give them any room. I thought there was a two or three minute stretch in the third quarter where we didn’t do a whole lot offensively and it kind of got away from us,” he said. “Good teams take advantage of that and they did.”
Pandora-Gilboa knocked down three 3-pointers in the first quarter but hit only one the rest of the game and that was also a factor in the outcome.
“Even on some of our threes, that (defensive) hand was right there. Even on dribble penetration they got their hands on a lot of basketballs,” he said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.